Kids and Cholesterol

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Story Updated: Aug 9, 2012

Health headlines are often filled with news about childhood obesity and the risks children face because of their weight.

But now, hopeful news about high cholesterol in kids. Levels have actually fallen a little bit over the past 2 decades.

But don't jump for joy just yet... nearly 1 in 10 Americans under the age of 18 still has elevated cholesterol.

The study, just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at cholesterol blood tests done on more than 16-thousand children ages 6 to 19.

All had participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey during three time periods -- from the late 80's through 2010.

They were tested for total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides.

The researchers crunched the numbers and found:

-a 5 point decrease in total cholesterol

-a 5 point decrease in LDL, the "bad" cholesterol

-a 9 point decrease in triglycerides

-And an increase in HDL, the "good" cholesterol, of 1.5 points.

Because high cholesterol in kids often follows into adulthood...the aim has always been to nip bad habits in the bud early.

While the results of this study are encouraging, experts stress more work still needs to be done to guide young patients towards healthy food choices and getting exercise. I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news that can keep you and your loved ones safe, healthy, and happy.

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